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ARH314and315Terminology
Alldefinitionsarereproducedfromtherequiredcoursetextbook:
Trachtenberg,MarvinandIsabellHyman,Architecture,FromPrehistoryto
Postmodernity:theWesterntradition,2ndEd.,EnglewoodCliffs,N.J.:PrenticeHall
NewYork:H.N.Abrams,2002

Abacus
Atthetopofacapital,athickrectangularslabof
stonethatservesastheflat,broadsurfaceon
whichthearchitraverests.
Imagecourtesyof
HeatherRussel

Acanthus
AplantoftheMediterraneanregionwhose
serratedleaveswerecopiedinstonetoornament
CorinthianandCompositecapitalsusedalsoto
decoratemoldingsandfriezes.
Imagecourtesyof
GayleGoudyKochanski

Aedicule
Aframingmotifconsistingofanentablatureand
pedimentsupportedbytwocolumns.
Image
courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Aisle
Apassageorcorridorparalleltothenaveofa
churchoranancientbasilicaandseparatedfrom
itbycolumnsorpiers.
ImagecourtesyofGayle
GoudyKochanski

Altar
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Atablelikestructureforthecelebrationofthe
SacramentsinaChristianbuildingforsacrificeor
offeringsinantiquity.
ImagecourtesyofGretchen
Ranger

Ambulatory
Asemicircularorpolygonalpassagewayaround
theapseofachurch.
ImagecourtesyofGretchen
Ranger

Apse
Asemicircular,polygonal,orrectangularextension
attheendofaRomanbasilicaoraChristian
church.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Anta
InClassicaltemples,thepilasterlikeprojecting
endofaporticowalloftenframingcolumns,
whicharethensaidtobeinantis
Image
courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Arcade
Aseriesofarchessupportedonpiersorcolumns.
A"blind"arcadeisarowofarchesappliedtothe
wallasanornamentalfeature.
Imagecourtesyof
GayleGoudyKochanski

Arch
Astructuraldevise,curvedinshape,tospanan
openingbymeansofwedgeshapedbricksor
stones(voussoirs)thatsupporteachotherby
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exertingmutualpressureandthatarebuttressed
atthesides.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudy
Kochanski

Architrave
Asquarebeamthatisthelowestofthethree
horizontalcomponentsofaClassicalentablature.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Archivolt
Amoldedbandcarriedaroundanarch.

Image

courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Arcuated
Anyformofconstructionusingarches.

Image

courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Ashlar
Buildingstonethathasbeensquaredand
finished,andthemasonryconstructedofsuch
blocks.
C ourtesyofHeatherRussell

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BarrelVault
Ahalfcylindricalvault,semicircularorpointedin
crosssectionalsocalledtunnelvault.
Image
courtesyofHeatherRussell

Bay
Averticalcompartmentofabuildinginwhich
severalsuchcompartmentsarerepeatedeach
baymigntbedefinedbycolumns,piers,windows,
orvaultingunits.MichelangeloMuseoCapitolinois
dividedinto7baysbypilasters.
Imagecourtesy
ofPhilGruen

Basilica
InancientRomanarchitecture,alarge
rectangularbuildingusedasatribunalorforother
publicpurposesandgenerallyarrangedwithnave,
aisles,andoneormoreapses.InChristian
architecture,alongitudinalchurchofrelated
form.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Boss
Sculptedornamentofjoints,foundprimarilyin
vaults.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Buttress
Aprojectingmassofmasonryservingtoprovide
additionalstrengthforthewallasitresiststhe
lateralthrustexertedbyanarchorvault.Plying
Buttress:inachurch,abuttressintheformofan
arch,orsetofarches,thatcarriesthethrustof
anavevaultoverthesideaisleroofsdowntoa
massiveexternalpier.
ImagecourtesyofGretchen
Ranger

Capital
Theuppermostpartofacolumn,usuallyshaped
toarticulatethejointwiththelintelorarch
supportedinClassicaltypes,comprisingan
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abacus,echinus,andothercarveddetail.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Caryatid
Asculptedfemalefigureusedasasupportin
placeofacolumnorpier.
Imagecourtesyof
HeatherRussell

Cella
ThebodyandmainsanctuaryofaClassical
temple,asdistinctfromitsporticoandother
externalpartssometimesusedsynonymously
withnaos,theprincipalroomofatemplewhere
thecultstatueishoused.
Imagecourtesyof
GayleGoudyKochanski

Centering
Temporarywoodenframeworkusedtohold
constructionmaterialinplaceuntilavaultorarch
isselfsustaining.
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

Chancel
Theeasternportionofachurchsetapartforthe
clergy,andoftenseparatedfromthemainbody
ofthechurchbyascreen,rail,orsteps.The
termisalsousedtodescribetheentireeastend
ofachurchbeyondthecrossing.
Image
courtesyofGretchenRanger

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Chevet
AFrenchtermusedtodescribethedeveloped
eastendofachurch,usuallyaFrenchGothic
cathedral,withitsapse,ambulatory,and
radiatingchapels.
ImagecourtesyofGretchen
Ranger

Choir
Thepartofachurch,generallylocatedtowardor
intheapse,reservedforclergyandsingers.
(Thisphotographwastakenlookingdownthe
navetowardtheapse.Thechoirscreenis
highlighted,whichisjustbeyondthetransept.)
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Clerestory
Apartofabuildingthatrisesaboveadjoining
rooftopsandispiercedbywindowopeningsto
admitlighttotheinterior.
Imagecourtesyof
GretchenRanger

Cloister
Anopensquarecourtsurroundedbyacovered
ambulatory,oftenarchaded.Itisgenerally
attachedtoachurchormonasteryandis
distinguishedfromasecularcourtyardbyits
functionasalaceofseclusionandrepose.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Coffering
Recessedpanels,squareorpolygonal,that
ornamentavault,ceiling,ortheunderside(soffit)
ofanarch.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

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Colonnette
Asmallorgreatelyattenuated,slendercolumn.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Colossal/GiantOrder
Columnsorpilastersthatrisethroughseveral
storiesalsocalledaGiantOrder.
Image
courtesyofPhilGruen

Column
Avertical,usuallycylindrical,support,commonly
consistingofabase,shaft,andcapitalin
Classicalarchtecture,itspartsaregovernedby
proportionalrules.
ImagecourtesyofHeather
Russell

CompositeOrder
OneofthefiveClassicalordersfavoredinlate
Romanarchitecture.Onthecapital,large
conjoinedIonicvolutesarecombinedwiththe
acanthusleavesoftheCorinthianorder.
Image
courtesyofGailGould

CompoundPier
Apierwithcolumns,shafts,andpilaters
attached,sometimesinclusters,toitsfaces.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Corbel
Amasonryblockprojectingfromawalltosupport
asuperincumbentelement.
Imagecourtesyof
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GretchenRanger

corbeledarch
CorbeledArch
Masonryconstructedoverawallopeningbya
seriesofcoursesprojectingfromeachsideand
steppedprogressivelyfurtherforwarduntilthey
meetatmidpointnotatruearch.

CorinthianOrder
Themostrichlyembellishedofthethreorders
(Doric,Ionic,andCorinthian)developedbythe
Greeks,withatallcapitalcomposedofabell
shapedcore(kalathoss)envelpedbylayersof
acanthusleavesterminatinginthecorner
volutes,surmountedbyconcavesidedabacus.
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

Cornice
Theuppermost,projectingportionofan
entablaturealsothecrowinghorizontalmolding
ofabuildingorwall.
ImagecourtesyofHeather
Russell

Crossing
Theareawherethenaveandtranseptintersect
inacruciformchurch,frequentlysurmountedbya
towerordome.
(Thistowerisoverthecrossing).
Image
courtesyofGailGould

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Cript
Crypt
Avaultedspacebeneaththepavementofa
church,oftenhousingrelicsortombs.

DiaphragmArch
Atransversearchacrossthenaveofachurch
partitioningtheroofintosections.
Image
courtesyofGretchenRanger

Dipteral
Referringtoatemplesurroundedbyadouble
rangeofcolumns.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudy
Kochanski

DistyleinAntis
InaClassicaltemplereferringtoaporticowith
twocolumnsbetweenpiers(antae)projecting
fromthecellawalls.
ImagecourtesyofGayle
GoudyKochanski

Dome
Acurvedvaultthatiserectedonacircularbase
andthatissemicircular,pointed,orbulbousin
section.Ifraisedoverasquareorpolygonalbase
transitionalsquinchesorpendentivesmustbe
insertedatthecornersofthebasetotransform
itintoanearcircle.
ImagecourtesyofGayle
GoudyKochanski

DoricOrder
Thecolumnandentablaturedevelopedon
mainlandGreecetheflutedcolumnarshaftis
withoutabaseitscapitalisanabacusabovea
simplecushionlikemolding(echinus).The
entablaturehasaplainarchitrave,afrieze
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composdofmetopesandtriglyphs,andacornice
withprojectingblocks(mutules).InRomanDoric,
thecolunisslimmerthantheGreekprototype,is
unfluted,andstandsonalowbasethecapitalis
smaller.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Drum
1.Thecylindricalorpolygonalwallsupportinga
dome.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

2.Oneofthecylindricalsectionscomprsingthe
shaftofacolumn.
ImagecourtesyofHeather
Russell

DryMasonry
Masonrylaidwithoutmortar.

Imagecourtesyof

HeatherRussell

Echinus
Aconvex,cushionlikemoldingbetweentheshaft
andtheabacusintheDoricorTuscanorderin
anIoniccapital,foundbeneaththevolutes,
generallyindecoratedform.
Imagecourtesyof
HeatherRussel

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EngagedColumn
Acolumnattachedtoorappearingtobepartly
embeddedwthinawall.
Imagescourtesyof
HeatherRussell(left)andGayleGoudyKochanski
(right)

Entablature
TheupperpartofaClassicalordercomprising
architrave,frieze,andcornice.
Imagecourtesy
ofHeatherRussell

Entasis
Theslightswellingoftheverticalprofileofa
Classicalcolumnasittaperstowardthetopto
counteracttheillusionofconcavitythat
accompaniesstraightsidedcolumns.(orange
linesexaggerated)
ImagecourtesyofHeather
Russell

Exedra
Asemicircularrecessornichealargeapse.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Extrados
Theuppersurfaceofanarchorvault.

Image

courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Facade
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Theprincipalexteriorfaceofabuilding,usually
thefront.
ImagecourtesyofPhilGruen

Fluting
Theshallowconcavechannelscutverticallyinto
theshaftofacolumnorpilaster.InDoric
columns,theymeetinasharpedge(arris)in
Ionic,Corinthian,andCompositecolumns,they
areseparatedbyanarrowstrip.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Frieze
Ahorizontalband,sometimespaintedor
decoratedwithsulptureormoldings.Itmayrun
alongtheupperportionofawalljustbeneatha
corniceoritmaybethatpartofaclassical
entablaturethatliesbetweenthearchitraveand
cornice.ADoricfriezeoftenhascontinuousrelief
sculpture.
ImagecourstesyofHeatherRussel

Gable
Atriangularelement.Itmaybetheendofa
pitchedroofframedbytheslopingsides.Italso
referstothetopofaGothicpanel,ortothe
triangularareaabovetheportalsofaGothic
building.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Gallery
Anupperstoryprojectingfromtheinteriorwallof
abuilding,orplacedabovetheaislesofachurch.
Itmayfunctionasacorridororasanareafor
assemblyorseating.
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

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GroinVault
Avaultformedwhentwobarrelvaultsofidentical
sizeintersectatrightangles(alsocalledacross
vault).
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

HallChurch
HallChurch
Achurchinwhichthenaveandaislesarethe
sameheight,givingthebuildingtheappearaceof
agreathall.

Impost
Inapier,theprojectingmoldingatthespringing
ofanarch.Arectangularimpostblocktransmits
theweightofanarchtoasupportingmemberit
mayappearbetweenthecapitalofacolumnand
thespringingofanarch.
ImagecourtesyofGayle
GoudyKochanski

InAntis
Thetermusedtodescribecolumnsplaced
betweentheendsoftwowalls,commonly
projectingfromtheendsofthecellaofasmall
GreekTemple.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudy
Kochanski

Intrados
Theundersurface(asopposedtoextrados)ofan
arch(orvault)alsocalledasoffit.
Image
courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Intercolumnation
Thespacebetweenadjacentcolunmsina
colonnade,frequentlydeterminedbysome
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multipleofthediameterofthecolumnitself.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

IonicOrder
OneofthefiveClassicalOrders,theIonicis
characterizedbyascrollshaped(voluted)capital
element,thepresenceofdentilsinthecornice,
andafriezethatmightacontaincontinuousrelief
ornament.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Keystone
Thecentralvoussoiratthetopofacompleted
arch.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

LancetWindow
Atall,slenderwindowwithasharplypointedarch
(likealance),commoninearlyGothic
architecture.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Lantern
Acylindricalorpolygonalstructurethatcrownsa
dome,itsbaseusuallyopentoallowlighttoenter
theareabelow.
ImagecourtesyofGretchen
Ranger

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Loggia
Anarcadesupportedbypiersorcoluns,openon
onesideatleasteitherpartofabuilding(asa
porch)oraseparatestructure.
Imagecourtesy
ofGayleGoudyKochanski

Lunette
Asemicircularwallarea,oropening,aboveadoor
orwindowwhenabovetheportalofachurch,
oftencalledatympanum.
Imagecourtesyof
GretchenRanger

Martyrium
Martyrium
Astruction,oftenofcentralplan,erectredona
sitesacredtoChristianity,symbolizinganactof
martydomormarkingthegraveofamartyrwho
diedforthefaith.

Megaron
TheprincipalhallofanAegeandwelling,oblongin
shapeandformedwithslopingsidesandaflat
top,withapassageleadingtoanunderground
burialchamber.

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MelonDome/UmbrellaDome
Adomesubdividedintoindividualconcavewebs
sometimescalledanumbrelladome.
Image
courtesyofGretchenRanger

Metope
InthefriezeofaDoricorder,therectangular
areabetweentryglyphsoftenleftplainbut
sometimesdecoratedwithreliefornament.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Molding
Asculpted,ornamentalband,carvedwitha
distinctiveprofileorpatternhighlydevelopedin
Classicalarchitecture.
ImagecourtesyofHeather
Russell

Mullion
Aslenderuprightdividinganopening,usuallya
window,intotwoormoresections.
Image
courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Naos
TheprincipalenclosedareaofaGreektemple,
containingthecultstatueofgodorgoddess.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Narthex
Acolonnadedporchinfrontofthefacadeofa
church,inearlyChrisianarchitectueoftenserving
asthefourthsideofanatriumalsoatransverse
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vestibuleprecedingthechurchnaveandaisles.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Nave
Thecentral,longitudinalspaceofabasilican
church,separatedfromtheaislesorfromside
chaples,andextendingfromthemainentranceto
thetranseptortotheapse.
Imagecourtesyof
GretchenRanger

Niche
Aconcaverecessinawall,oftenusedtohouse
statuary.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Oculus
Aroundwindow.

ImagecourtesyofGretchen

Ranger

Opisthodomos
TheroomattherearofaGreektemple,behind
thenaos.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Order
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Asystemfortheformsandrelationshipof
elementsinthecolumnandentablatureof
Classicalarchitectureaccordingtooneoffive
modes:Doric,Ionic,Corinthian(developedbythe
Greeks),andTuscanandComposite(developed
bytheRomans).

Order

PalladianMotif/Serliana
Atripleopeningformedbyacentralsemicircular
archspringingfromtheentablatureofnarrower
flankingsquareheadedbays,usedbyarchitect
AndreaPalladio.AlsoknownasaSerlianabecause
itwasfirstillustratedinthearchitecturetreatise
of1537bySebastianoSerlio.
Imagecourtesyof
GailGould

Parapet
Alowwallforprotectionattheedgeofa
balcony,terrace,roof,bridge,etc.
Image
courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Pedestal
Asupportingsubstructureforacolumnorstatue.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Pediment
Atriangularspaceformedbytherakingcornices
(slopingsides)andhorizontalcorniceofagabled
templealsousedaboveadoororwindow.Ifthe
apexorbaseissplit,thepedimentisdescribedas
broken.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Pendentive
Aninverted,concave,triangularpieceofmasonry
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servingasthetransitionfromasquaresupport
systemtothecircularbaseofadome.
Image
courtesyofGretchenRanger

Peripteral
Pertainingtoabuildingsurroundedbyarowof
columnsonallsides.
ImagecourtesyofHeather
Russell

PianoNobile
Theprincipalreceptionandlivingareainan
Italianpalace,thefirstfloorabovetheground.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Piazza
TheItaliantermforacitysquare.

Image

courtesyofPhilGruen

Pier
Amassiveverticalsupportoftenrectangularin
planandthereforedifferingfromacolumn,
sometimeshavingitsowncapitalandbase.When
combinedwithpilasters,columns,orshafts,itis
calledacompoundpier.Itsproportionsarefar
morevariablethanaClassicalcolumn.Pierisalso
thetermusedforthesolidmassbetween
windows,doors,andarches.
Imagecourtesyof
HeatherRussell

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Pilaster
Acolumnisflattened,rectangularshape,
projectingslightlyformthefaceofthewall.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Plinth
Agenerallysquareblockformingthebottommost
elementofacolumnbaseortheprojecting
lowestportionofawall.
ImagecourtesyofGayle
GoudyKochanski

Podium
AmassiveplatformonwhichanEtruscan,Roman,
orotherancientbuildingwassometimesplaced.
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

Portico
Anopen,colonnaded,roofedspaceservingasa
porchbeforetheentrancetoabuilding.
Image
courtesyofGailGould

PostandLintel
Asystemofconstructioninwhichtwoormore
uprightssupportahorizontalbeamalsocalled
trabeated.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Pronaos
TheporchinfontofthecellaofaGreekorRoman
templeformedbytheprojectionofthesidewalls
andarangeofcolumnsbetweentheprojections.
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ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Pylon
InancientEgyptianarchitecture,thesloping,
towerlikewallsflankingtheentrancetoa
temple.
ImagecourtesyofPhilGruen

Quoin
Largestoneorblocklaidatthecornerofa
building(oratanopening)usedeitherfor
reinforcementoftheangleorforornament.
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

Revetment
Thefacingofasurface,usuallyawall,withstone
forornamentationorprotection.
(Noticehowtheornamentalrevetmentisonlyon
thefacadeanddoesnotcontinueontheside
surfaces.)
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Rib
Aslender,projectingarchedmemberofavault,
usedtofacilitateitsconstruction,reinforceits
structure,orarticulateitsforminvaryingwaysin
Roman,Byzantine,andIslamic,Gothic,and
Baroquearchitecture.
ImagecourtesyofGretchen
Ranger

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RibVault
Anarchedceilingorroofsupportedorreinforced
byribs.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Rustication
Masonrywithmassive,stronglytexturedor
roughhewblocksandsharplysunkjoints,
distinguishedformsmoothashlar.
Image
courtesyofPhilGruen

Scotia
Aconcavemoldingusedastheintermediatepart
ofabase.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Shaft
Thecylindricalbodyofacolumnbetweencapital
andbase.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Spandrel
Thetriangularareabetweenadjoiningarches,or
thetriangualrareanexttoasinglearch.
Image
courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

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Spire
Atallpointedterminationofatowerorroof.
ImagecourtesyofGretchenRanger

Splay
Splay
Thewideningofwindows,doorways,andother
openingsbyslantingthesides.

Springing
Thepointfromwhichanarchorvaultspringsor
risesfromitssupports.
ImagecourtesyofGayle
GoudyKochanski

Squinch
Asmallarch,orsometimesalintel,thrownacross
theangleofasquareorpolygontomakethem
morenearlyroundandthusabletorecievethe
circularbaseofadome.
ImagecourtesyofGail
Gould

Stringcourse
Acontinuous,projectinghorizontalcourseof
masonry,ususallymolded,runningalong,the
surfaceofawall,tomarkanarchitectural
subdivision.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudy
Kochanski

Stylobate
Thecontinuousplatformofmasonryonwhicha
colonnadereststheuppermostlevelofthe
steppedbase(crepidoma)ofaGreektemple.
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ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Thrust
Theoutwardforceexertedbyanarchorvault.
ImagecourtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Torus
Alargeconvexmoldingfoundprincipallyatthe
baseofacolumn.
ImagecourtesyofHeather
Russell

Trabeated
Anarchitecturalsystemusingahorizontalbeam
oversupports,asopposedtoanarchedor
arcuatedsystemsynonymouswithpostand
lintel.
ImagecourtesyofHeatherRussell

Tracery
OrnamentalintersectingstoneworkinGothic
windows,panels,andscreenofGothicbuildings
alsousedonthesurfaceoflateGothicvaults.
Variedtechniquesandpatternsaregivennames
suchasplatetracery(builtupincorsedlayers
liketheframingwalls),bartracery(constructed
ofcomplexfragmentsofthetotalpattern),
flowingtracery(seeminglyfreehand,curvilinear
design,thoughcompassdrawn),etc.
Image
courtesyofGailGould

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Transept
Inabasilicanchurch,thearmthatcrossesthe
naveatrightangles,usuallyseparatingitfrom
theapsetwintranseptarmsmayalsoproject
fromthenavewithoutinterruptingit.

Transcept

Triforium
AnarcadedwallpassageinaGothicnavewall,
betweentheclerestoryandthemainarcadeina
threestoryelevationinafourstoryelevation,it
appearsbetweenthegalleryandtheclerstory.
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

Triglyph
InaDoricfrieze,theprojectingblockmarkedby
verticalgrooves(glyphs)betweentherectangular
areasknownasmetopes
Imagecourtesyof
HeatherRussell

Vault
Anarchedceilingorroofmadeofstone,brick,or
concrete(cf.barrelvault,fanvault).
Image
courtesyofHeatherRussell

Volute
Ornamentintheformofaspiralscroll,andthe
principalfeatureoftheIoniccapital.
Image
courtesyofGayleGoudyKochanski

Voussoir
Awedgeshapedstoneusedintheconstruction
ofanarchorvault.
ImagecourtesyofGayle
http://img.uoregon.edu/arh314/terminology/Terminology_all.html

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ArchitecturalTerminology

GoudyKochanski

Westwork
InaCarolingianorRomanesquechurch,the
towerlikewestend,oftencontaininganentrance
vestibulesurmountedbyalargeroomopentothe
nave.
ImagecourtesyofGailGould

http://img.uoregon.edu/arh314/terminology/Terminology_all.html

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